Good Golf, But Needs Improvement
Pros: -Good golf. Challenging holes with good length and a decent mix of wooded and non-wooded holes.
-Completing the course requires a variety of shots. Not just throwing hyzers all day.
-The roughs are generally not too bad. While they can be tough to get into, they are relatively easy to navigate underneath the "canopy".
Cons: -Navigating the course is terrible. While I'm sure it is easy for locals, if you're playing for the first time it can be pretty frustrating.
-This course needs to be better maintained. The grass was definitely too long when I played.
-Garbage cans were literally overflowing.
-I absolutely hate having two baskets in the ground at the same time at the same hole. If you want to play the longs, you may accidentally play to the shorts thinking that is the position.
Other Thoughts: There is a gem in this course. A little elbow grease and some better coordination and commitment from the parks department this can be a fantastic course. I did not see any next tee markers. Going from 5 to 6 is completely illogical and needs to be marked. Getting from 3 to 4 isn't immediately obvious either. Next tee markers combined with some signage can fix this. I'd also prefer to see a second set of 'short' tees at all the holes instead of multiple baskets for a few of them.
This course easily has a 4 or 4.5 rating in it, just needs a bit of work.
My personal favorite, home course.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I might be slightly biased since this is my home course, but this is my personal favorite of the courses I've played.
-Decent mix of long and short holes. shortest being around 250 and longest around 500 (not counting the ultra long tee on three)
-Lots of changes in elevation, but nothing too extreme.
-Good mix of open and technical holes.
-Tough enough to challenge experienced players, but still fun for newbies.
-Tee signs on every hole, benches and trash cans on some.
-Holes 3, 5, 12, and 17 offer some great views.
-Hole one is a tough one. Fairly short hole, but the middle ~150 feet the hole is over the so called "Lake VA." Wouldn't be too bad to get over with the exception of trees on both sides. This hole is a disc eater.
-Hole two has a couple of really nice pin positions, one about 400 dead straight, with a couple trees on either side of the fairway. Second is a hard right hook around some dense, dense brush, about 450ish away from the pad. You can either play it safe and throw a forehand/anny around the brush and have a nice second shot to get into putting position, or try your luck through the brush (there's an opening, but it's tight), and if your drive is good enough you could be in position for a long putt for eagle.
-Three is probably my favorite hole on the course. It has three pin positions, two of them about 350-380 out from the pad, and one ultra super long 1000 footer. The first two can be pretty easily birdied with a nice drive, but the long pin is technically a "par three." If You can get your drive to the top of the hill (~450 feet), you get yourself in position for a 550 foot approach down one long, beautiful hill. Definitely not a pin for a weak arm. Also, within the next week the extra long basket for hole five is being moved into the 1000 foot spot on three for good.
-Hole four is a medium distance uphill blind shot. Two pin positions, one on the near edge of the hill, the other near the hole three tee. Nothing too remarkable about this hole, challenging but fun.
-Hole five is a semi-long downhill shot with two basket placements. First is a blind shot straight downhill, pretty easy birdie if you can get your drive over the final crest of the hill. Second is slightly farther and to the left of the pad, visible from the pad, backed by some thick brush. Nothing too crazy, just needs a long drive.
-Hole six is deceivingly difficult to birdie. Long open fairway directly in front of the pad, pin to the left under some trees. The trees around and in front of the basket love to knock down good drives, making for some challenging approaches/putts. Second basket is a bit further, and straight ahead of the pad, but still surrounded by trees.
-Hole seven is a pretty long one, about 430 dead ahead for one basket placement, second is about the same distance but hidden to the right behind some bushes. About 250 feet down the fairway are two trees that seem to knock down any and every disc thrown their way, but if you can get your drive past them a birdie isn't out of the question. Birdie on the second basket placement isn't out of the question either, but the placement definitely makes it difficult. One of the more frustrating holes at this course.
-Hole eight is a ~325 foot (ish?) shot, slightly down hill over a fairway dotted with trees. A nice straight drive can get you reasonably close to the basket, but the trees make it tough. Several lines to both basket placements.
-Hole nine come right back up past eight, slightly uphill. First pin is about 270ish, slightly to the right, very easy. Second pin is about 150 feet back and over a hill, surrounded by rocks and trees. Very pretty hole placement, but definitely a difficult hole to birdie, even as a par 4.
-Hole 10 is really straightforward, about 350 feet straight ahead, slightly downhill. One tree just to the right of the pad that can very easily make you bungle a drive, and another smaller tree about 50 feet in front of the basket. Easy hole.
-Hole eleven is fairly short, uphill. Trees on the right side of the fairway take a big hyzer shot out of the equation. Best bet (for me at least) is to hyzer flip a fairway driver up and let it land on the right side of the hole. Not too difficult, but can quickly ruin your score if you throw a bad drive down the hill.
-Hole 12 is a fun one. About 380 feet out and down a big hill, with a thick, thick treeline about 70 feet in front of the short tee. Trees on either side of the fairway at the start give you limited options, but once you get down past those you have numerous options to get to the hole. Par 4, and pretty easy to birdie. Second pin positions is back about 200 feet and to the right, and out in the open. Not a super tough placement, just requires a big arm to get up to it.
-Hole 13 is one of the shorter, more technical holes on the course. The first pin placement is down a tunnel of trees about 250 straight down and slightly to the right of the basket. You have two options on this pin; down the tunnel or around it. Either way is going to make for a fairly easy hole. The second pin is about 50 feet behind the first, across the same line of trees from the previous hole. Only one option on this pin, down to the left of the tunnel and through the break in the tree line. Tough pin.
-Hole 14 is a long, open shot that's pretty much flat. Big line of trees on the left side of the fairway, and a few on the right to keep you honest. First basket placement is up at the end of the tree line on the left, second is under the trees dead ahead. Big arm players shouldn't have much trouble birdie-ing this one, I personally usually take a 3.
-Hole 15 short pin is the shortest hole on the course, 250ish feet dead ahead. Big tree/bush line on the left side of the fairway, 5 evenly spaced small trees separating this and hole 17 on the right. Probably the easiest birdie hole on the course.
-Sixteen is a hair longer than fifteen, sitting right around 260-270. Tight fairway with a lot of bushes/trees on either side, basket is ever so slightly up hill and a tad bit to the right. I like to throw a thumber on this one and have it land near the basket/just behind it on the hill.
-Hole seventeen is a long (440) downhill par 4, with a tree/bush lined left side of the fairway, and those same trees from 15 on the right. A strong armed player wouldn't have too much trouble eagleing this one with an accurate drive, but most players are looking at a drive, an ~100 foot approach, and a putt.
-Hole eighteen is about 300 uphill, through about 15 different trees across the fairway. A birdie on this hole would require a very very accurate drive, since the basket is unapproachable except for one open section thats about 10 feet across.
Cons: -Grass doesn't get mowed as often as I'd like, so at some times you'll spend some time searching for discs.
-Woods on 2, 7-9, and 12-18 are extremely thick, so if you make a bad shot you're gonna have a rough time searching.
-Some tee signs and benches have been graffiti'd/broken, but signs are still readable.
-The path from 5->6 isn't marked, so your first time you might have trouble, but it's fairly easy to figure out.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: love this course is the best one I've ever played so far only been playing for a few months but it is really fun the flow could be a little better but overall it was an awesome course
Cons: my only problem is this course is all the way Knoxville at talking two hour drive so wish I lived closer
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful Open Course
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Beautiful and well maintianed course. Open with many good drives. Has some good landscape. Concrete pads. Easier holes and challenging holes. Signage is pretty good.
Cons: Busier course. Hard to navigate 1st time. 1st hole has a huge water hazard. Maps show 2 pins on all holes, only some have multiple pins.
Other Thoughts: This is a good course to work on many skills, It's definitely worth playing.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: It's a very nice and clean park, some nice challenges with two different baskets to throw over a pond, some hidden baskets and the terrain varies to give a moderate over all challenge to any thrower.
Cons: if you have never thrown here you should find a print out of the lay out, for the park is quite big and they don't give good direction as to where the next Tee's are to throw from. once you throw it once or twice it becomes quite easy.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
I loved this course
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Victor Ashe is a thing of beauty. A perfect mix of fun and challenge, and arguably, the best open course I have ever played.
- Some pieces of land were made for disc golf, and you see that here. The course is built across rolling hills, which give it some surprisingly challenging layouts. There's almost a good mixture of trees, water and rough to up the difficulty level.
- As much as the terrain is important, you actually need to have a well designed and laid-out course. And that's exactly what you find here. You see that in the variety of the first five holes: #1 is a downhill shot over water, back to an uphill putt/second shot to the basket. #2 is a long dogleg right. #3 is a long, mostly open shot, with three trees potentially blocking your path. #4 is an uphill blind shot. #5 is a downhill shot, which, depending on the layout, will either penalize you for going long, left of right.
- Difficult holes throughout, some of which are deceptively challenging. #6 and 9 both look tame on the tee (throw around the trees on #6, stay right on 9), but end up being much tougher. #12 and 13 both go over a creek bed, with narrow openings to go across.
- This is one of the biggest risk/reward courses I've seen. If you're aggressive, throw great and hit your lines, you will see a lot of birdie putts. If you're aggressive and can't throw straight, you'll see lots of bogeys, double bogeys or worse (lost discs). The course also rewards smart, conservative play with a lot of (relatively) easy pars. It might not be the most glamorous way to play, but getting an easy three on most holes is a good score. The best example of this is #12. It's a par 4, downhill tee shot, across the creek bed to a basket protected by trees. Unless you can really rip a straight tee shot (probably 400 foot+), the smart shot is a well placed, mid-range disc. That sets you up with an easier second across the creek, and may leave you a birdie putt, or an easy par.
- Distance and accuracy are both important here. Unlike Groves Park, which puts too much emphasis on distance, Victor Ashe has a great blend of both. Shorter throwers (less than 300 feet) can still score well here if you throw smart and strategic shots.
- Extra long tee pads. You could get a five step run up on these, which just further tempts you to be aggressive.
- Good, descriptive tee signs. There are enough blind tee shots on the course, and the tee signs were a huge help in knowing where to throw.
- Great, overall park with lots of amenities. The course is in the back, and other than a walking trail you cross on several occasions and people fishing the pond on #1, you're almost completely isolated from everyone else. The pictures gave the course a more rugged, older look, so I was actually surprised how good things looked in person.
Cons: As a testament to this course, these are all relatively minor issues. If one of the 'cons' is that you have to play all 18 holes, I think you're doing something right.
- The basket positions need to be more consistent. When I played, most baskets appeared to be in the red, shorter layout. On some holes there were multiple baskets (#3, 5 & 13 come to mind) and at least one appeared to be in the other (blue) layout - #14. Also, #16 was in a new position not listed on the sign, scorecard or website.
- The ending to the course was a little disappointing. #16 & 18 especially felt different from the rest of the course that it was a little bit of a letdown. After 15 solid holes, plus #17, I would like to see something with a little more punch on #18.
- On some holes, the grass Is pretty thick and unforgiving. On at least two holes (#17 for sure, I forget the other), I threw big tee shots that got no bounce or roll once they hit the ground. That lack of extra feet made second shots seem even longer.
- There are some long walks between holes. After #5, there's a long walk to #6, in the back of the park. And again, after #14, there's a long walk back up to #15.
- As a continuation of the above comment, the way the course is laid out, you can do a nine-hole loop if you choose - #1 -5 & #15 - 18. The negative is that you're missing out on the meat of the course, and there's also really no way to get to those back holes without playing a full 18.
Other Thoughts: Victor Ashe far and away blows away the Knoxville area's other open course - Grove Park. Fair or not, my buddy and I played these courses back-to-back during a visit to the region, so all the good things about Victor Ashe were even more magnified than if they were played separately.
- I could play this course all the time. The added element of elevation/hills is what makes this open course go from good to great. This same layout would be as exciting if it were flat.
- There was a great variety in terms of hole layouts. Even on holes that looked similar from the tee, there could be a huge difference in the way subsequent shots looked and played. I was forced to play more shots and discs here than at most courses.
- There are so many fun and challenging holes throughout the course. Anytime a course/hole is both fun and difficult at the same time is a great sign for me. It's a great sign that you can both love and hate the course at the same time.
- This is a no-doubt, must play. Between this course and Morningside, Knoxville has as great of a one-two punch as what you'll find in most cities. I'm surprised the ratings on this are somewhat low. I'm a pretty tough critic - look at my course ratings compared to others - and I thought this course was great. This is one of the few times I think others are being too tough on a course.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
The Long Haul...
Pros: Concrete pads. Plenty of space for long drives. With exception of the first water hazard discs are easily found.
Cons: There are very few technical holes, most others are long fairways with a few trees here and there. I have never seen this course without the trash cans overflowing onto the ground. No signs showing the way to the next hole, bring a map!
Other Thoughts: The first hole has a bunch of fallen trees in the way. This course is for the player who wants to work on brute force drives and not finesse.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Mediocre at best
Pros: Concrete pads..
Cons: No real navigation aids...
No course map at the start...
no "next tee" signs..which can really ruin your day after hole 5 if you don't know where you are going.
No innovation as far as the layout.
It's got some long hole, over rolling hills, that really take no skill to hit.
The wooded holes are run of the mill
and the "moderately wooded" holes (fields with trees) are tough, but not because they require skill so much as luck...
Longs of overhanging branches that cover shooting lanes, and if the hole isn't mowed, it's fairly easy lose a disc.
Other Thoughts: For a "well since we are here" kind of day...it served it's purpose...
We got lost after hole 5 because there was nothing that said..."hey, you have to walk a half-mile around the trees to get to #6...which admittedly tainted the rest of the round.
Play it if you are in town...but this is not a destination course.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Distance and Terrain
Pros: 500' holes are a norm on this course so it'll give you a chance to work on your arm. It blends open space, hills and trees into a great combination of challenging holes. This course provides the rare opportunity to throw over the tops of trees while standing on the peak of huge hills...this is a shot you'll want to toss a few discs on for novelty sake.
It's a long course so wear your walking shoes. I would play this course again.
Cons: The pros could also be viewed as cons. There is more focus on the length of your drive and less on the precision of the placement.
The holes aren't marked very well either. I tagged along with a local which was the only reason I was able to find half the holes.
Other Thoughts: It's hot in the summer so bring water.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Victor Ashe Park
• Huge park, huge course.
• Big concrete tee pads and signage on every hole.
• Get ready for some sort of challenge on every hole.
• Mostly long holes with lots of challenging obstacles and pin positions. Chicks dig the long ball.
• Lots of rolling elevation.
• DISCLAIMER: These cons are sort of picky, but they need to mentioned because you could have trouble if you are not aware of them. They definitely do not detract from the overall playability of the course.
• The signage is pretty generic and doesn't accurately show you where the baskets are. No way to know what position the pin is in if you cant actually see it from the tee pad. We had a local guide and would not have known where to throw without him.
• The course flow is a little weird with the holes being in three groups (1-5, 6-14, 15-18) in different areas of the park, with long walks between the three groups. The course map did not seem to match the actual layout of the course, so take your time navigating.
• Not a course for beginners, kids, families, etc. The water on #1 is unplayable for many. Although the map showed an alternate tee pad for weenies like me, I could not find it so I just started on hole #2.
Other Thoughts: This course really feels like a championship caliber course. It is obvious that whoever laid out this course knew what they were doing. I have a weak game, but still really enjoyed playing here. The course appears to be built on old farmland based on the appearance of barbed wire fences here and there. The holes are not wooded but have plenty of rolling hills and big old trees to make you think before you throw. Big arms will love this course, lesser arms will love the opportunity to work on their distance throws. Definitely the "must play" course in the Knoxville area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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